In the study of competence at least two approaches can be discerned. One favours the assumption of a hereditary basis. Following this tradition, it is asserted that competence develops on the basis of an inbom capacity of performing means-ends analyses. Thus, cognitive endowment determines what kind of scholastic and occupational tasks become mastered. The other line of research assumes that cultura1 factors operate and that the impact of schooling effects competence the way is becomes visible through professional mobility. The fundamental problem with the se approaches is related to the analytic treatment of competence. A topological approach to competence instead emphasises as a matter of fact its evolutionary and consequently synthetic quality. By embedding it functionally into a context and approaching it with Perspective Text Analysis (PTA) four types of competence development have been demonstrated. By means of global attractors developing in a phase space, behavioural expressions of competence have been identified. These are taken as indicators of functional stability in the development of competence.